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tv   Back to the Falklands  BBC News  June 7, 2017 3:30am-4:01am BST

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this rugged and beautiful landscape was once the scene of a short but brutal conflict. in 1982, a small british overseas territory in the atlantic, known as the falkland islands, was invaded by argentina. a task force set sail from britain to reclaim the islands. over 100 vessels and nearly 26,000 men and women, some as young as 18. vessels and nearly 26,000 men and women, some as young as 18m vessels and nearly 26,000 men and women, some as young as 18. it was the moment i was robbed of my youth. i don't think anybody, as a 19—year—old, should witness that much death. the british defeated the argentines injust much death. the british defeated the argentines in just under three weeks, and returned home victorious. but what happened after the parades we re but what happened after the parades were finished and the flags were put away? i was still young. were finished and the flags were put away? iwas still young. it
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were finished and the flags were put away? i was still young. it started eating and gnawing away at me. one of the veterans has used art to cope with this trauma. i think a lot of the pain that i suffered from the falklands, i have alleviated with art, soi falklands, i have alleviated with art, so i am lucky that i have that safety belt. will users and emissions to show how fighting a war affects soldiers even years later. you cannot see the injury. everybody think you are all right. but underneath, your screen. —— uses. and now, panorama. —— you're screaming. good evening. the government, the country, perhaps the world itself, sits precariously balanced this evening between fighting at a peaceful solution. the first they heard about the falklands, i thought they had cheek, because that is
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where i thought they were, up in scotland. panorama is wallowing some former guards who remained friends, as they fly a dozen comedies back to confront their daemons for the first time in 35 years. as teenagers, they knew little of what they were getting themselves into. we were 19 yea rs of getting themselves into. we were 19 years of age. —— as they fly 8000 kilometres. yes, not a care in the world. nothing at all. the world was my oyster. for all their youthful bravado, all were affected by their exposure to the horrors of war. and still bear the psychological scars. 53—year—old nigel o'keefe is divorced and lives alone. when i
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first came home, kids used to come all the time, but because of my alcohol problems, they stopped coming here. and that is what is a lot. my kids. it is not theirfault, it is my fault. but i have grandkids to me now, and my kids don't want to see that. they want to put me in a nice light. like many veterans, mick suffers from survivor guilt. it is a dreadfully, to go back. —— dread for me. we left a lot of good friends
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back there. it has affected me. i was diagnosed with ptsd about 20 yea rs was diagnosed with ptsd about 20 years ago. i had nightmares for a few years. years ago. i had nightmares for a few yea rs. i years ago. i had nightmares for a few years. i came back very angry. it wasn't what happened there, it was what happened afterwards, the aftermath. you would certainly see something in normal circumstances, you would just brushed off, but i would go berserk. paul bramwell has suffered from bouts of depression and severe insomnia. he runs better on self—help groups, and takes care of mistreated or so is that shows similar signs of anxiety and stress. i lost a lot of friends. i think that will lobby for the rest of my life. but since i came back. —— that will haunt me for. i see things when
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iam will haunt me for. i see things when i am sleeping. the only changes you big time. they make it what they want, and when you get out, you are still what they want. you don't fit into society any more. —— they make you what they want. the hokey cari, you what they want. the hokey cari, you don't let it out. you keep it in. you are taught that way, and thatis in. you are taught that way, and that is one of the principles in training, where you get rid of your emotion. —— the hurt that you carry. i don't think it ever gets out. will caverns, seen here 19, worked as pa rt caverns, seen here 19, worked as part of a detail movie corpses and the sick images. there were a lot of
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amputations, and i think we'll is picked something up, and a foot along the floor. it was a foot that was blown off. just bits and pieces of people in the hospital that we had to take and incinerate. that was oui’ had to take and incinerate. that was our details of the day. this was just part of the journey for me. this is the catalyst. and now the journey, go back to the falklands, a really ring at —— i am reliving it and try to make sense of it. i know it will hurt, but i want to go back there and see it through to the end. the first time the former welsh guards arrived on the island, it was ona guards arrived on the island, it was on a hastily converted luxury cruise ship, the qe2. now it, it is courtesy of the ministry of defence, who have provided cheap flights for vetera ns who have provided cheap flights for veterans hoping to return. amazing to be with old friends. let's duta ‘s! iam
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to be with old friends. let's duta ‘s! i am extremely excited and ready to rock ‘n‘ roll! 's! i am extremely excited and ready to rock 'n' roll! joined by other vetera ns, to rock 'n' roll! joined by other veterans, they go to the place where they first arrived in 1982. —— let's do this! this is where we first landed. this is it. it wasjust ships coming and going. nothing but ships coming and going. nothing but ships out there. it was teeming with ships. it is like stepping back in time, the guys leading the in world war two. the way we saw it, it was just chaos. equipment was everywhere. everything was blowing in yourface. the biggest everywhere. everything was blowing in your face. the biggest shock was how cold it was. once landed, the infa ntry how cold it was. once landed, the infantry needed to carry all
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quivered on foot. including weapons, ammunition, provisions. each man was carrying around 60 kilos.|j ammunition, provisions. each man was carrying around 60 kilos. i was carrying around 60 kilos. i was carrying the weight of the human being on my back. looking at the ground, it was chaos. it is a real beam back here! flashback! -- it is surreal. british forces marched to the capital. a culmination of technical factors the capital. a culmination of technicalfactors meant the capital. a culmination of technical factors meant that many of the welsh guards did not complete in march. bad press in the years following the war accused them of not being fit enough to do the march. stung by the criticism, the men are determined to prove their
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detractors wrong by doing the 90 mile tactical advance to battle. detractors wrong by doing the 90 mile tactical advance to battlem isa mile tactical advance to battlem is a pilgrimage, really. we want to retrace our steps and do the much that we did not do back in the day that we did not do back in the day that the paratroopers in marine said. it will take them past significant battlegrounds, and along the way, the men faced an incident that afforded them says. —— marines. it isa that afforded them says. —— marines. it is a personal thing. that afforded them says. —— marines. it is a personalthing. for that afforded them says. —— marines. it is a personal thing. for the sake of your own... yes, your sanity. it could be tough. it is going to be tough. but before they hit the road tomorrow, the team tuck into their rations, something slightly better than they had back in 1982. look at this lamb, here. as a chef... very loosely, a chef... laughter. today,
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the men will march 22 miles from san carlos to goose green. it is a thrill doing this, because at walking pace, and your mind is ticking over. and all the memories are unravelling and it is very cathartic. —— march. and i think we will be talking about what happened and dealing with the demons that all of us have. nick's trauma and survivor guilt art manifested in carrying his backpack on the 90 mile trek. this symbolises the baggage i been carrying for 35 years, mental baggage. -- daemons. the weather is
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totally identical to what it was backin totally identical to what it was back in the day. coughs. that's better. i hope the lungs have... that absolutely paralysed me. i am busting for a urine. —— piss. that absolutely paralysed me. i am busting for a urine. -- piss. there might bea busting for a urine. -- piss. there might be a dozen miles from home, at the weather is decidedly well. after five gruelling miles, it is too much for nigel, and he needs to take the car. i can't bear it. for nigel, and he needs to take the car. ican't bear it. it is for nigel, and he needs to take the car. i can't bear it. it is about a nile, —— car. i can't bear it. it is about a nile, -- it car. i can't bear it. it is about a nile, —— it is about a mile, now. car. i can't bear it. it is about a nile, -- it is about a mile, now. 35 miles later, and it is time for some
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r&r. they called to see if we could put them up, and the answer is or is you. the connectivity with this island is so strong. what we did as young men, to come out here and fight, the respective levels have rows, it is so much. i can feelthe guilt. nigel is suffering, but not with his feet. apart from his poor general health, the return to these islands is bringing back some u nwa nted islands is bringing back some unwanted memories. once thejoker of the gang, seen here on the qe2 en route to the falklands, he has his own team is to deal with. one of the problems i had before it came out, i was a coal dependent. i've been alcohol dependence for some years. i often asked myself why a drink every day and every night, and not stop,
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but i would put it down to what happened to overhear. —— alcohol dependent. nigel's defining memory was when his platoon entered a minefield made by the argentinians. we rodan singh and it was pitch black. —— over here. traces were flying everywhere. at a guy from the acs came over and told everyone to stop. —— sas. he said we were in a minefield. suddenly, there was screaming. really high—pitched screaming. really high—pitched screaming. and i said what the hell are children doing out here? i found out, then, that it was two royal marines, who had stepped on antipersonnel mines. and that is
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what the screaming was. i have never heard a grown man scream so high—pitched, like that. to me, it is like an old film. i was like, to that rarely happen? really, i want to see it again. then i realised that it was real, you know? the date is not and well for nigel, as, once more, he finds itself unable to cope. i really worried about nigel. he does not look well. he looks sick. he really should have come out. i said earlier, honestly, i
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said let me tell you now, i work with people who have this every day. this is a tough one, isn't it? it's just it's a tough one, isn't it? it is a tough one, yeah. it's a tough one. but which you have told him, "you can't come"? it's a shame because, you know, what we went through 35 years ago, to see someone like this now... with nigel recovering in hospital, the group is one man down. unbelievable. what was we saying last time? sheep! sheep! baa! today, we're marching to fitzroy, where the welsh guards got hit very significant day for a lot of us, really.
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i appreciate it. no, i enjoyed having you. right, charge. oh, it's been a pleasure. you take care. playing reveille bye-bye. bye! take care! is that our lunch up there on the hill? they imitate sheep the group reach fitzroy bay six hours later. 48 soldiers and crew were killed here when the ship sir galahad was bombed by the argentinian air force. this is where the welsh guard suffered their heaviest losses. this is it. this is where we came ashore. mick was one of hundreds of welsh guards being transported on the ship.
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planes came in and hit us, half past four in the afternoon. bang. and then whoosh. thrown through the air. i got thrown about 15 foot. you're trying to get guys out and you're choking. some of the guys, they went back, they wanted to pull... you know, i'm talking heroes there, what they done. if you ever see somebody, they've got on a pair of marigold gloves, they peel them off... and just left them hanging by theirfingers — the flash has blown the skin off his hands. and he had roses tattooed on his hands. you could see the tattoos down there on his skin where they'd come off. the smell was horrendous. explosions and burning flesh, right?
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it was... it really got into you, like... it's in and on you. many men were trapped below deck in the burning hold. guys going back in there. i had a look, didn't have the guts for it. well, i had really... ijust, i couldn't go back in there. when mick returned home, his survivor guilt was only intensified by the warmth of his hero's welcome. all the neighbours in the street are out, the bloody big hero's... hero's welcome. as they got up to the door, it's a big picture, the welsh guards rugby team, and the first who i clock, is cliff and yorkie. they got killed on the guard, you know, and ijust broke down. the ones who were killed,
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it broke my heart. seeing my mates and i'm getting a bloody hero's welcome and my two mates ain't there, just. . .still shocking. all right, boys? what's wrong, mike? come here, come here. get in there, mike. it's all gone by the way now, boy. all gone by the way. the men leave fitzroy with heavy hearts. it's unlikely they will ever return. i think the hardest thing was especially with mike hermanis and a view of the other boys, fitzroy, the actual fitzroy itself, is such a big thing and it's such... when they got there yesterday, very emotional. he finds now it's hard to leave there and start walking all over again, and that was
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the biggest thing this morning, was trying to get re—motivated to carry on walking. the approach to the capital, port stanley, takes them past the battleground mount harriet. paul bromwell was part of a recce unit leading the way up the mountains and paving the way for the paras and marines. paul had walked some 70 miles in sub—zero temperatures by this point. it was one of the hardest tracks i've ever done. you've got to imagine yourself doing a marathon. i'd done a couple of marathons by the time i got here. it was —3, ice rain, and we were put in positions right round the bottom of mount harriet. the argentines were well dug in and convinced that the british would never attempt something as foolhardy as storming the mountain at night
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in these conditions. that underestimation proved their downfall. where we could see a lot of movement and a lot of fire coming in, it was coming in both ways. we all opened up and whatever we could see, we put enough firepower down to let the marines go forward. we were just waiting for something to go wrong, you know? despite what paul and his comrades suffered that night, a plaque on the site fails to even mention them. we fought on this mountain and yet it never comes out. it's always the other regiments have taken it, that they've done everything. there's no mention on here whatsoever about what the welsh guard's done on this mountain itself. i don't want this thought to leave my life all the time, but it never goes away. it was so surreal to be involved in this and then within a week, i'm walking down the street
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at home and... ..it was like two worlds apart. i'd been through hell and when i went home, itjust seemed nothing had changed. everybody else was carrying on with their life and yet inside, it was hurting a lot. so much. i'd lost too many good friends. it's the last push to port stanley and for will, the incident that has most haunted him occurred after the argentine surrender on this road. i remember walking up and seeing something in the road and it was the body of a dead argentinian. and for reasons i still don't understand today, i put my hand down and i wanted to look at the guy's face. and i'd picked his head up and i looked at no face. there was no face there at all.
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it was just a cross—section of his skull. all of his teeth were all over the place, there was bone fragments and blood all over the place, and it's something that has haunted me for a very long time, seeing that, and that's what i remember about coming into port stanley. some of the lads were looking through his possessions and they found photographs of his family and itjust... it made me think immediately that this guy could have been me, could have been any of us. he was just a soldier, fighting for a war that he probably didn't believe in in a foreign country and a place that he'd never heard of, and probably as scared as me, and unfortunately he'd been killed. covering an average of 22 miles a day, then men have done their march in four days. not bad for ten old geriatrics!
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exactly, we've done pretty good. i started blubbing, coming up the hilljust then. yeah, i'm proud of us all, mate, i'm proud of us all. i tell you what, mate... set a few demons to rest now. yeah. suck on that. hip-hip. .. all: hooray! hip-hip. .. hooray! come on, boys, all together, all together. one, two, three. bam, done it! well done, boys. let's get some photos. get some photos. this is it. cheers, mate. i've been carrying this. my falklands war's over about 35 years, this is it, the monkey's off my back. get in there! that's it, baggage ended. the argentines lost 649 men, almost three times that of the british. when the conflict was over,
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will and some comrades were detailed to return 500 argentinian prisoners using a modified old sealink cross—channel ferry which had sailed all the way from the uk. during this time, they discovered a poignant connection with the prisoners. we were sectioned to deal with the prisoners on the car deck. we had about 500 of these engineers who'd helped clear the mines. on this cross—channel ferry. and my mate strikes up a conversation with one of these guys. they can barely speak each other‘s languages but it transpires that some of the prisoners we had were welsh because when the welsh were oppressed, they left wales to go and settle in patagonia, and yet we're fighting with each other. it's st david's day,
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exactly 102 years since the formation of the welsh guards. a fitting time to pay their respects to fallen comrades. sobbing it's closure, it's closure, you know? i can go home now and not think about this place no more, and i can move on in my life now. i think it's about the futility of war. i think you realise what a futile thing it is. i mean, obviously we achieved an objective by going there and taking the islands back and that needed to be done...
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..but at what cost? at what cost, you know? shall we go home? let's go home. come on. there's not a single day goes by when you don't think about it, think about the boys, the friends that we lost in this. there were some bloody fantastic boys we lost up there. welcome to bbc news, broadcasting to viewers in north america and around the globe. i'm mike embley. our top stories: more questions for the uk's security services. it's emerged they were warned about the third london bridge attacker.
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he's been named as 22—year—old youssef zaghba. an australian nurse, kirsty boden, is the third victim to be named. she was killed as she ran to help others during the attack. british prime minister theresa may has said she's prepared to rip up human rights laws to ensure british police have the powers they need to tackle the terrorist threat. if our human rights laws stop us from doing it, we'll change the laws so we can do it. president trump is claiming credit for the
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